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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Gene Pelowski, Jr. (DFL)

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Minnesota House unanimously passes funding requirements for the Disaster Assistance Contingency Account

Thursday, April 11, 2024

St. Paul, MN - Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed House File 4753, which would require the allocation of a portion of the budget surplus to the Disaster Assistance Contingency Account until the account reaches $50 million. Authored by State Representative Gene Pelowski (DFL - Winona), the legislation passed with unanimous support. 

“When disaster hits Minnesota, it does not adhere to the legislative schedule. Passing this legislation would ensure that the state’s Disaster Assistance Contingency Account remains funded, regardless of whether legislators are meeting in St. Paul,” said Rep. Pelowski, who authored the original legislation establishing the account. “The account is currently the most stable it has ever been, but that has not always been the case. Ensuring its continued funding enables the state to respond whenever a community requires assistance to handle the impact of a devastating flood, fire, or storm.”

The Disaster Assistance Contingency Account, signed into law in 2014, expedites assistance to communities burdened with damages to public property and infrastructure like roads, utilities, and public buildings. Prior to the passage of the law, the Minnesota Legislature was required to convene each time a disaster was declared in order to appropriate funds toward community recovery efforts, often in a special session. 

More information can be found via the bill’s research brief. Video of today’s floor debate can be found on the House Public Information YouTube channel